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Topics - Heir of the Void

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So, on my second pass through Areonaut's Windlass, I've been keeping a particular eye out for mentions of the nuts and bolts of Etheric Engineering, and I think I have a few ideas for new systems that could be devised using the capabilities we see, with the caveat that a lot of it requires at least an early 20th Century understanding of various physical principles, and I'm less sure of where Spire Albion stacks up on the more background science.

First, the Jet Engine. Sort of thing.

It would be intended more for airships (active lift) than areoplanes (aerodynamic lift), but it would provided a number of advantages over steam props; other than the obvious increased thrust, it would be entirely etheric in nature, removing the need for a steam turbine (which is heavy and has moving parts vulnerable to iron rot), as well as the assorted gearboxes, driveshafts, and such.

So, a jet engine works by drawing in external air via the forward intake using the compressor (that's the fan(s) at the front), which creates a higher internal air pressure, and thus elevated air density. It also raises the temperature of the air (as per Gay-Lussac's Law), which assists in fuel combustion in a conventional jet. That's undesirable here, so inducing a cooling system around the compressor would be ideal.

Then, in place of the combustion chamber, weapons-type crystals modified to continuously produce heat when activated are arranged to enormously increase the premature, and thus the pressure, of the air moving through the chamber; as in a normal jet engine, the shape of the chamber (narrow, high-pressure inlets, and a comparatively clear outflow, along with the action of the compressor) ensures that the elevated pressure forces the heated gas through the turbine powering the compressor and out of the jet nozzle, generating thrust.

The main internal material of the engine would probably be ceramic; steel isn't an option, copper and brass are too vulnerable to heat, and there is no evidence that titanium or tungsten alloys could be prepared in the volumes necessary. In any case, a thermal ceramic would be excellent for the combustion chamber, as the primary strain is thermal rather than mechanical; if possible, gunmetal would be best for the mechanical parts where ceramic is unacceptable; partially the turbine and compressor.

Based on the assumption that gauntlets and long rifles contain no power cores (simply the weapons crystal) and that the large cannons are explicitly stated to operate on the same general principal, I am fairly confidant that this drive system would impose no demand on the ship's power core crystal; in fact, a design could intentionally include an overpowered turbine driving an electrical generator; providing the airship with more power for her Web or Shroud at the cost of jet output.

The speed provided would not be on par with a jet airplane for a number of reasons; at present, not knowing the drag characteristics of a typical airship preclude commentary on top speed, and without mass values (I don't recall any, but if anyone recalls a discussion of airship weight -in absolute terms, not relative to other airships-, please let me know) acceleration estimates are impossible. I don't know if you could match the main web with only jet propulsion (endurance also becomes a problem; the web is much more mechanically simple and thus less effected by wear), but the idea is that you don't have to. Given that warship design is dominated by three constants (You guns are less powerful and accurate than they need to be, your ship is too fragile, and you need more engine power) every bit helps.

If I'm forgetting something, made a flaw in analysis, or you think I'm stupid; by all means, leave a comment and descibe the problem to improve future concepts.

Next time: Ripple Fire at the O.K. Corral

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